Discrimination of the Mexican American Men During World War II
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World War II started around 1939 through 1945, it was a very severe military clash between Allies and Axis. There were over 100 million militants in the war all over the world; sixty million people were million people were killed. Mexico and Brazil were the only Native Americans that supported the United States in the war. Prior to that, the United Nations had not been in good terms with most of the Native American countries. In fact they had conflicts to the extent of fighting at some point. Despites all these, Mexico fought along with US in the World War II, Chambers and Anderson, (2004, p.73).
Mexico was an influential state in Native America in matters of war; they had a good military base. They used this to support America protect the naval ships. Their science and technology had improved in respect to military issues. Mexico support in the World War II was not only restricted to testing their machinery but also provided grounds to US that housed the a project called Manhattan which was an atomic bomb plant. In addition to that, a laboratory in Los Alamos, constructed an atomic bomb called Trinity was a deadly weapon. The laboratory was later turned to an explosive bombs manufacturing plant for the war. In short, Mexico as a nation was fully supporting the US, Chambers and Anderson, (2004, p. 74).
Elsewhere, World War II affected the Latinos who were living in US, this included the Mexican Americans. To begin with, some able men join the army voluntarily while others were drafted into by the others. Either way they offered their service whole heartedly for the defense of US. They won the most of congressional medals as compared to any other minority groups in US. Otherwise, this war increased the rate of migrations of Mexicans into the united state of America. This was due to shortage of the man power in industries US resulting from people going to battle field. Mexicans came in to supplement the shortage. Construction of the railways is the sector that engaged most of the Mexicans. Those people working there got poor quality services in terms of recreation, housing, health services, legal issues and translation. This was not the condition that prevailed throughout the US, Chambers and Anderson, (2004, p.75).
As a result of this condition, they advocated for an organization that would address their issues. In September 1945, an organization called Philadelphia International Institute was formed. Its intention upon formation was supposed to support workers in the rail road by deal with some common problems that they faced. They started some evening classes where English was thought every week, improved recreation and shopping. The committee in the organization helped to solve disputes that aroused due to contracts and a breach of terms of contract. The contractors went ahead to deduct expenses of food from the men in the railroad construction, insurance and retirement benefits. This was an act of oppression which was not pleasant. The railway workers thought they were being provoked constantly.
The Mexican Americans joined the army to defend the as all other men did. They were eager to support and protect their territory. One problem that raised immediately the Mexican Americans who joined the United State Army was the language variation. The Mexican American soldiers who had been to America understood only English, those who had stayed in Mexico for their entire lifetime understood Spanish and those who understood both were the only bilinguals.
The Mexican Americans fought with undivided devotions despites the challenges they went through in the military camps. In the camping sites in the battle field, the white Americans who were the majority felt superior, they isolated platoons based on races. Mexicans had their own commander and walked in groups, Dao, (2011). The African Americans and Asian Americans were not an exception in this case. They did suffer the same fate.
In platoon of white soldiers from America, a Mexican American included. Many soldiers in the group kept on asking his name and where he was born; He was born in America but his name was Hispanic suggesting he was a Mexican. The ‘superior’ white Americans started calling him ‘Smart-ass-Mexican’, to describe his bravery and physical look. This explains discrimination based on racial segregation that existent in US then and even to date, Dao, (2011).
While in the battle ground, the Mexican American soldiers pressed on with intimate persistent and firmness demonstrating actions of courage and loyalty to their counterpart; the US soldiers. A group of distinctive militants from Mexico contributed immensely to US for the achievements in Pacific. The Indigenous code talkers from a boarding school of Native Americans in North Defiance played a key role in the war by interpreting the German codes, Dao, (2011).
In World War II, Mexican Americans got an opportunity to fight in the defense of their country. Their loyalty, courage and elegance earned their country high esteem and satisfaction. They served in various places, divisions and at various capacities all in an effort to shield the United States Embassies. The battle ground was not fun, murders, gunshots; deaths of dear friends and teammates were part of life for those who live to tell the tale.
Vast actions and intelligence portrayed in the battle fields by young Mexican Americans in the war against the fierce German was enormous. They kept the spirit of defending their territory. They also closely monitored their fellow Mexican men in the diverse troops as a way of love and unity for the fellow countrymen.
Mexican American from the Midwest went through horrible causalities and painful deaths. A good number of the women back at home were heartbroken; these include the mothers and the wives of the victims. The whole incident was a tragedy beyond what explanations can describe. Most of the five start families became mourning families as a result of loss of a member of the family in war.
On the contrary, whenever a body of a death person was brought home from war, it took the hearse a hard time to reach their destinations because of the poor state of the roads in Mexico. The caskets that carried the body were however covered with two flags; the Mexican flags and the United State flag. Bearing in mind that Mexico was not developed as the US was, US did not offer to support the development process in Mexico.
In discussions there were extraordinary sacrifices by the Mexican American soldiers, one suffered and major injury, he was hospitalized and he returned to war immediately he recovered. Unfortunately, in the war he was shot again and he died. Another hero was also shot; he was taken to the hospital and he recovered for three months under medication. He went back to the battle field later and he was shot to death. In compensation after the war in 1945, such cases were not treated with the respect it deserved.
Elsewhere in 1945, in support of America, the Mexico Army together with the American Army defeated confederacy. A world wide delegation from the European and American allies converged in Mexico City. A number of issues were passed agreed and among them was the replacement of the government of confederacy to be re-established by a democratic one whose leader had to be in line with the requirements set by Mexico. Mexico also demanded for equal privileges for African-Americans in the federation. All this was accepted but action was not executed immediately since they continued to practice the apartheid policy, Dao, (2011).
The arrival of the Mexican plane with soldiers from the war in May, 1945 was a mark of victory for all Mexicans. The whole nation celebrated with joy and triumph. This saw the Mexican flag high in the sly in the whole of Mexico. African-Americans in New Orleans were happily rejoicing and thanking CS troops from the Mexican camp for rescuing them from the torment they were facing. This did not move the White Americans and nothing was done to appreciate the team.
Another serous act of discrimination was Zoot-Suit Riot of Los Angeles. This name was derived from ‘zoot suit’ which was commonly won by most Mexican American young men between late 1930s and early 1940s. This riot took place in 1943 when the World War II was going on. It started as minor disputes but later broke into full blown riots and the White Americans went hunting for Mexican Americans in the Street and beating them.
Those people who managed to acquire citizenships in the US when working in the railways did not go back to the US when the war ended and the troops returned home. They instead bought houses and settled. As they worked in the US, they found themselves sacrificing a lot for their taken on country and felt they should get equal rights as the other Americans, after all they were registered citizens of America and none was a stronger citizen than the other, Morin, (1966). They started advocating for their rights, end discriminations, access to better education and better jobs too.
It was at this point that they came up with “G.I. Bill”. This bill demanded for equal rights for all. That means the veterans were to access job opportunities, tertiary education, secondary education and insurance. The G.I. Bill gave Mexican Americans an opportunity to go to college, according to G.I. Bill History in United States, Department of Veteran Affairs. This facilitated better jobs and better living standards.
Since the end of the Second World War, a good number of movies have been authored describing the contribution of American Army toward the World War II. However, these movies in most cases do not do not include the contribution of the men from Mexico toward the all the achievements in the war yet they were key and at some point outperformed their counterparts the American soldiers. Their loyalty to the United States was expressed beyond any reasonable doubts through these experiences yet the credits go to the United States army. It is shocking however to realize that despites the fact that many Mexican military men lost lives and others suffered serious injuries defending a foreign nation, and the nation served cannot appreciate the work, Morin, (1966).
To sum it up, it is truly evident from this paper that Mexican Americans played a role which cannot be ignored during the WWII. It is important to recognize them and appreciate them along with other minority groups that participated. Secondly, America should realize and appreciate the fact that it is endowed with people from different racial backgrounds. However, this people are all citizens in America. It should promote national integration and cohesion between people from different backgrounds.
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